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Terrorism escalates in Libya as election approaches

A car bomb blew up outside a secondary school used as an electoral office in Benghazi’s al-Hadaek neighbourhood on Saturday (October 26th).

A number of cars belonging to the electoral commission’s trainees parked outside the school were destroyed in the blast. The workers were attending a training course before elections to choose members for the school-drafting panel and municipal councils.

“The bombing was a clear message to disrupt the election of the 60-member panel which will write the Libyan constitution and also the election of municipal councils,” said Benghazi Joint Security Room spokesman Abdullah Zaidi.

A demonstration was staged on Saturday in Benghazi to denounce the deteriorating security situation in town and demand the special operations forces to secure the city.

“The equipment we’re currently using is not suitable,” special operations commander Wanis Bukhamada said. “There is only a small part available to the special operations forces, and I haven’t been fully supported. We need equipment and vehicles, and when the al-Jalaa bombing took place, I gave the former interior minister a list of our demands. So far, such demands haven’t been met.”

“Everyone in Libya must bear their responsibilities towards this nation,” he added. “Passivism has led us to the unknown, and we’re now losing at least one person every day. In spite of all what’s happening, there are Libyans who are worried about this nation, and who are real revolutionaries. We have information that Sabha is also suffering, and is in chaos. The day will come when we hold to account all those who committed crimes against Libya.”

“We want an intelligence-gathering agency to support the work of special operations forces,” Bukhamada added. “Unfortunately, the state is not supporting us in this regard.”

On Monday (October 28th), the body of Abdallatif Zwai, director of al-Ejmaa Arab Bank, was found in Mashrua al-Safsafa, a forested area in Benghazi, with gunshots to the head. Signs of torture were also clear on his body.

Zwai was kidnapped about a month ago, and his abductors demanded a ransom of 10 million Libyan dinars to release him.

Also on Monday, Lt. Col. Idris Najem, an officer of Benghazi security directorate, escaped an assassination attempt in the town’s al-Huwari district.

Meanwhile, Abdel Hakim Ramadhan Mohammed, an officer of military accounts, escaped an assassination attempt at 8:00am Tuesday morning opposite his home, but is now in a critical condition at al-Jalaa hospital in Benghazi.

Journalists Khalifa al-Obaidi and Seraj al-Majbri also escaped an assassination attempt on Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on them from a speeding car.

Unknown assailants launched another attack Tuesday morning, firing an RPG at a special operations convoy on the highway, but no casualties were reported.

Others, however, were not as fortunate. Mustafa Abdulsalam Asnedl, a soldier of the 1st Infantry Brigade, was killed Tuesday after being shot at with multiple bullets in the head and shoulder as he left October 7th Hospital in central Benghazi.

On Monday, a protest tent set up outside the Tibesti Hotel by the al-Obeidi tribe, relatives of the late Lt. Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, was strafed with bullets from a white Kia. Two people were killed and another five were injured, according to Libya Herald.

The demonstrators were calling for the arrest of suspects in the murder of the revolutionary hero. Islamist militia leader Ahmed Boukhtala has long been accused of orchestrating the killing. He remains at large.

Article by Fathia al-Majbri, Magharebia.

This article was originally published here.

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